HOMEBREW Digest #5318 Sun 06 April 2008

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  Heat of combustion of Propane ("A.J deLange")
  Re: Brewing Logic and Experimentation ("J. Ben Schafer")
  Experiments/experience Alexandre's suggestion ("steve.alexander")
  Herbal Express ("Eloy Butler")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 05 Apr 2008 07:56:59 -0400 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Heat of combustion of Propane I completely forgot about the heat of combustion question "Do you know, off hand, what the equation would be for the BTU's/lb of propane...." The available heat when propane is fully combusted is about 45.8 M joule (mega joule) per kg. If you manage to condense the water vapor produced you can recover about 6% more. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2008 09:36:14 -0600 (CST) From: "J. Ben Schafer" <schafer at cs.uni.edu> Subject: Re: Brewing Logic and Experimentation > For the widely popular and simple styles such as pale ale we ought to come > up > with a significant number of recipes that differ by one ingredient (yeast, > base > malt, water, etc). Using this data we should be able to reach some > meaningful > conclusions. > Let me play devil's advocate for a bit - how do you adjust for the non-ingredient variables? The final outcome of a recipe is more than just the ingredients involved. Temperatures at various stages of the game including into the fermentation time, water profiles, efficiency rates, times spent at different stages of the process, pitching rates, heck even thoroughness of sanitation will all have an effect on the final flavor of the beer. While I have done it myself, I would be hesitant to compare two beers differing by one ingredient and make too strong a claim that the ingredient swap caused the difference(s). I don't remember whether it was on this list or one of the others I read, but someone recently said "Give 5 brewers the same ingredients to brew a beer and you are likely to get 5 different beers." Now let me step away from the devil's advocate role. I still think we need more science, testing and "controls" to help us solidify our knowledge and this discussion is GREAT. I too hear brewers throw around "facts" that I think are sometimes "old brewer's tales" passed from generation to generation with no real merit. We need ways to really test these things. I just wanted to point out we need to be very careful because of the high degree of variables that go into each brew session and final beer. ______________________________ J. Ben Schafer Associate Professor Department of Computer Science University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA, 50614 _________________________________________________ "Always behave like a duck -- keep calm and unruffled on the surface but paddle like the devil underneath." -J. Braude Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 06 Apr 2008 03:48:14 -0400 From: "steve.alexander" <-s at roadrunner.com> Subject: Experiments/experience Alexandre's suggestion Janitorial Cajole: Despite being probed regularly by Pat Babcock (!!), it seems that some cosmic filter removes the most interesting HBDs from my inbox. Such was the fate of #5315 with A.Enkerli's proposal. [[As an aside I have all ISP filters off, so it was never received on this end. I also receive HBD under two aliases and both regularly miss the same issue. I could and probably blame Time-Warner]]. == I suspect Alexandre is aware that there exist some brewing books along the lines of (what I imagine) is in Mr.This' cooking book. Tho 'not specifically aimed at verifying or debunking brewing lore, I find Charles Bamforth's books refreshing and informative with a strong experimental basis behind his statements. George Fix's last book, "An Analysis of Brewing Techniques" is IMO a sweet little compendium of the brewing experience of a well respected and knwledgeable brewer. In the next paragraph Alexandre suggests "the reverse approach might work well [...] By aggregating large numbers of data points, we might get a more precise picture of different dimensions of brewing". This is an idea that had first occurred to me 3+ decades ago while reading a nice little book called "Decision Analysis ..." by H.Raiffa. Not a brilliant book, but a nice introduction to a topic. The Author introduced a method of making decisions for an 'optimal' outcome in the face of uncertain knowledge by estimating (quite crudely and subjectively) probabilities. The book then veers off in the direction of exploring some of the human-psychological issues, an area that interests me less [[we monkey-boys are stupid & have blindspots in our reasoning - I see that every day, ho-hum]]. Anyway the problem in making decisions by this method is that we have poor estimates for probabilities. To bring this back to earth, say we want to make a malt-y tasting ale and we are considering the best yeast among WY1338 & WY1028; we usually rely on personal experience which can be quite limited. It would be terrific to poll a much larger "experience base" for the answer. The problem is not specific to brewing. but is a extremely common problem in all walks of life. We must make decisions but we have insufficient information/experience, so we seek advise. The traditional approach of leaving things to the "expert" has some severe limitations. See about.com for examples of the old paradigm - the expert informing the masses from a pulpit/ex cathedra. Generally solid information on many topics, but paper thin detail, usually no reference to any background detail, and occasionally it's blatantly erroneous. I don't care for this sort of advise since it is directly aligned with an appeal to an unnamed authority; a clear logical fallacy. Another common approach to decision making when faced with limited information is to poll a forum like HBD. We regularly see posts asking which brewing materials to choose, or which methods to employ to get a particular result. This actually works pretty well, but there are problems. Someone with good experience may not have time or the inclination to answer. Still if a dubious answer is posted it is likely to be discussed or rebutted. Better than nothing but it would be nice to get such an answer with google-like speed and some sort of reliability of result. Most HBers have a distorted view of how the "brewing lit", Journals such as JIB, MBAA-TQ, and ASBC, actually work. 98+% of the papers are "experiment" papers and usually have an extremely small topic domain; the comparative analysis of certain phenolics in two minor variants of a barley strain, for example. A tiny fraction are "overview papers" which attempt to draw conclusions by a survey of many experiment papers. In experiment papers we expect a great care in the methods, procedures and description, and a truthful accounting of the outcomes. Each paper is presumably one good data point and not more. The experimental "conclusions" are always the most interesting part, but also the most subjective. So the journal method has very high standards for entry, but the method is basically a bunch of tiny high quality data "points of experience" papers appear and then tentative overview/conclusions appears and are debated & revised as needed. It is extremely rare to see any experiment paper renounced, since it is just the report of a carefully observation, but the conclusions may be rejected based on a later/better analysis & information. This seems like a far better model for deriving information from experience. So what if instead of a few high quality data point (journal papers), and instead of the slowness an vaguaries of a forum response, we invite everyone to *record* their personal experience in a sort of database and make the information accessible in flexible ways ? The data quality obviously drops compared to a journal, but we have so much more of it so that perhaps we can still draw good conclusions despite the "noise". Someone with a strong statistics background could have a field day with this. My thoughts on the topic are both more grandiose and less restrictive and Alexandre's. Since the Internet was new, and again when the "wiki" was invented I've thought that recording and organizing personal experience rather than just "informal and more formal experiments" related to brewing could be made practical. How to organize experience is a fundamental issue that has no simple answer and broaches the of knowledge engineering, AI and the semantic web (not here tho'). Still imagine a google-like tool that could inform you in a highly extracted way of the experience of countless others when comparing brewing yeasts, espresso grinders of restaurant choice or which tires to choose. - --- Stepping back from the blue sky ... I applaud "dean at brewsession.com" for offering to take a small practical first step onto new turf. Patton's quip, "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week" applies. I will suggest that you not become too restrictive wrt to the quality & type of data & sources included. So long as these are recorded (not personal data for sources of course) these can be accounted for in the analysis. -S Return to table of contents
Date: , 6 Apr 2008 22:39:25 +0100 From: "Eloy Butler" <decreasingpb6 at melscasa.com> Subject: Herbal Express This proves that size really does matter. http://tunierane.com Return to table of contents
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